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  1. #26
    Senior Guest Andrey's Avatar
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    I prefer AA battery lights, since I do long distance riding and have no access to charge batteries during the rides. I have been very happy with Busch & Muller Ixon IQ and Dinnotte 200AA as a secondary light. I also use Dynamo Cyo light instead of Ixon on my other bike. The patern on the beam of Ixon is the best I have seen to ride on the road, I usually have the Dinnote set at the lowest settings even when I ride off road , only switching to high on 40 +mph descents. The Dinnote light is mounted on the handlebar and Ixon is on the fork crown. I also run a small 1 LED light on the helmet to read a cue sheet and do small repairs like changing flats in at night.
    If you decide to add a Dynohub in the future you could get a $35.00 AA charger that mounts on the fork that charges the AA batteries in the Ixon light .

    http://www.peterwhitecycles.com/b&m.asp

  2. #27
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brightwork View Post
    I have heard some complaints about the earlier MS lights, but from what I can see, they have fixed the issues. Also, just because you pay $300 for a light at your LBS, doesn't mean it's any better - and it certainly won't be as bright!
    Uh, did you look at the link?

  3. #28
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziemas View Post
    Keep in mind that the quality of these lights is generally quite poor.
    Magicshine has been making improvements in their line since introduction. I have one of the first gen Magicshine 900s and I like it pretty well but I admit it has issues. As far as I can tell, ALL of the issues that I have with my light have been fixed in the latest generation.
    Last edited by ItsJustMe; 09-16-10 at 10:32 AM.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  4. #29
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
    Magicshine has been making improvements in their line since introduction. I have one of the first gen Magicshine 900s and I like it pretty well but I admit it has issues. As far as I can tell, ALL of the issues that I have with my light have been fixed in the latest generation.
    Uh, the link was to the general DX light section, not a specific MagicShine light. The vast majority of the lights in that section are rubbish, and made with very cheap and brittle plastic.

    That being said, if you live in the States why would you buy a MagicShine from anyone but Geoman?

  5. #30
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    Best light in the 200 dollar range?
    It doesn't exist. Because lights are NOT meant to be gold bars or checking accounts. Lights are "tools" used by people to see obstacles and terrain just when and where they need to see them.

    When you start thinking about how these tools work, then you can appreciate how powerful or how convenient you want your tool to be. So instead of asking "how much" - start asking how will I "use it.?"

    Does it matter whether the light needs new batteries often? Does it matter whether you can trust it to work in the rain? Does it matter that you can mount it easily of different bikes?

    And where will you use the light? Will it be on very dark, completely unlit roads and trails? Or is a light for use while in a city near your home? If you will be using the light for several purposes, are you prepared to give up convenience or reliability for more lighting power?

    Aw never mind -I don't make any sense -carry on.......

  6. #31
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziemas View Post
    That being said, if you live in the States why would you buy a MagicShine from anyone but Geoman?
    I don't, and I wasn't suggesting it. I was just commenting that there are some lights in that page that are of acceptable quality.

    I actually buy stuff from DX, and I do buy Magicshine accessories (spare cables, etc) from them, because they're a heck of a lot cheaper (like, $3 instead of $8 for cables) and I don't really care if they take a month or two to get to me. But for the light itself, the price is close enough that I'd recommend going with Geoman, and I did for my headlight and taillight.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  7. #32
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Cranium View Post
    Aw never mind -I don't make any sense -carry on.......
    I *think* what he's saying is that in a way asking for 'the best light for $200' is like asking 'what's the best bike for $500?' - it depends a lot on how you're going to use it.

    I don't think that's entirely valid for lighting. There are indeed a few different criteria for lighting - brightness, beam pattern, weight, size, durability, whether you need to be able to remove the lights from your bike every day to keep them from being stolen.

    but though that's true, I think lights pretty much fall into a couple of large categories - commuting and off-road, and a couple of styles; self-contained or separate battery-pack. Then there are feature lists like brightness, runtime, beam shape, etc.

    I don't think it's silly to ask the question, but D.H. is right in that it's not that simple of a question, though it's not nearly as complex as choosing a bike.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  8. #33
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    The days are getting shorter, my good light from a couple of years ago has about fizzled out, and I was wondering the same thing the original poster asked. Thank you all for your answers.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  9. #34
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
    I don't, and I wasn't suggesting it. I was just commenting that there are some lights in that page that are of acceptable quality.

    I actually buy stuff from DX, and I do buy Magicshine accessories (spare cables, etc) from them, because they're a heck of a lot cheaper (like, $3 instead of $8 for cables) and I don't really care if they take a month or two to get to me. But for the light itself, the price is close enough that I'd recommend going with Geoman, and I did for my headlight and taillight.
    I actually bought stuff from DX too, and the vast majority of it, including ALL the small blinky lights, fell apart in short order.

    I have got a few cables from them that are okay though, as well as two 18650 batteries.

  10. #35
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziemas View Post
    I actually bought stuff from DX too, and the vast majority of it, including ALL the small blinky lights, fell apart in short order.

    I have got a few cables from them that are okay though, as well as two 18650 batteries.
    I've got a couple of their $3.40 SuperFlash clones, and they seem about as solid as the actual SuperFlashes. Actually a little better.

    The MTE flashlight I got from them needed the tailcap switch tightened after a few weeks, but it's been working OK since then.

    The pocket knives are actually pretty nice. The little keychain flashlights are great. The green laser had a somewhat wonky switch but a little contact cleaner fixed that up.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Cranium View Post
    It doesn't exist. Because lights are NOT meant to be gold bars or checking accounts. Lights are "tools" used by people to see obstacles and terrain just when and where they need to see them.

    When you start thinking about how these tools work, then you can appreciate how powerful or how convenient you want your tool to be. So instead of asking "how much" - start asking how will I "use it.?"

    Does it matter whether the light needs new batteries often? Does it matter whether you can trust it to work in the rain? Does it matter that you can mount it easily of different bikes?

    And where will you use the light? Will it be on very dark, completely unlit roads and trails? Or is a light for use while in a city near your home? If you will be using the light for several purposes, are you prepared to give up convenience or reliability for more lighting power?

    Aw never mind -I don't make any sense -carry on.......
    While technically correct, that's an overcomplicated answer.

    For $200, the MS will be a fantastic solution to every situation you've mentioned save off-the-bike use as a flashlight, but given this is a cycling forum, I'd wager that the main concern is for cycling. Turn it to medium or low if you're worried about blinding cars/oncoming peds, but run it high if you're clear. Go mountain biking with it as well - it's bright enough. Got a 3-hr ride and worried about batter? Still covered. And now it's near waterproof and has 2 generations of kinks worked out, with reviews to match on this forum.

    At $85 for the MS-900 model, it's a no-brainer. All the complexities you've mentioned are a non-issue because there's simply nothing in this price range to match it. Even if it's not the PERFECT solution, you can't go wrong.

    I only consider the 3 following front lights:
    - MS 900 (for most)
    - A P7 flashlight (only 1 hr runtime though)
    - Terralux LED (220 lumens on AAs x 1hr) - works great as a helmet mounted light

    The other bike-specific stuff is simply too expensive, with prices well over $300 once you're asking for anything brighter than a 200 lumen Terralux flashlight (which sells for $25 online!)
    =======================================
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  12. #37
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
    I've got a couple of their $3.40 SuperFlash clones, and they seem about as solid as the actual SuperFlashes. Actually a little better.

    The MTE flashlight I got from them needed the tailcap switch tightened after a few weeks, but it's been working OK since then.

    The pocket knives are actually pretty nice. The little keychain flashlights are great. The green laser had a somewhat wonky switch but a little contact cleaner fixed that up.
    All the rear blinkys I bought (ten or so IIRC) all were made out of brittle plastic, and cracked in short order. I had an MTE MC-E light that lasted about 8 months before it totally died.

    I'm simply not rich enough to buy cheap rubbish. I'd rather buy quality, and buy it once.

  13. #38
    Senior Member trx1's Avatar
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    the best things in life are cheap...
    why pay more then u have 2??

  14. #39
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trx1 View Post
    the best things in life are cheap...
    why pay more then u have 2??
    Why buy a cheap product that you have to replace, when you can buy quality the first time and save money in the long run?

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziemas View Post
    Why buy a cheap product that you have to replace, when you can buy quality the first time and save money in the long run?
    Gotta agree here in terms of DX - the QC I've experience is sufficiently off that I'm avoiding it from now on despite my love of lower-priced alternative goods. I consider bike-lights a mission-critical piece of commuting/night riding, and even if it flickers briefly (like my P7s do from time to time), it's a no-go.

    I will gladly pay a premium for bulletproof hi-quality bike lighting like the Fenix. (Note that I still consider the bike-specific hi-powered lighting products way overpriced- mainly because you can get a Terralux LED flashlight for $25 off Amazon that'll beat 90% of them.)
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  16. #41
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    I agree that most of the blinkies on the DX site look like cheap crap. However, the one that I got which looks very close to the Superflash is also about the same build quality as the Superflash - in other words, not stellar but should last a few years, and it's < $4 shipped.

    IMO it's not all that durable, but it's pretty much equivalent to the actual Planet Bike Superflash, which also has issues but will probably last a few years.

    I do agree with you though that it's not worth buying junk, but that just means that there's stuff on DX that I would not buy, other that I would. Honestly, just look at the photos and read the reviews. It's easy to tell that some of the stuff is garbage, but I've had decent luck with other stuff from there.

    I've bought stuff from my LBS or US websites that fell apart too.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
    I agree that most of the blinkies on the DX site look like cheap crap. However, the one that I got which looks very close to the Superflash is also about the same build quality as the Superflash - in other words, not stellar but should last a few years, and it's < $4 shipped.

    IMO it's not all that durable, but it's pretty much equivalent to the actual Planet Bike Superflash, which also has issues but will probably last a few years.

    I do agree with you though that it's not worth buying junk, but that just means that there's stuff on DX that I would not buy, other that I would. Honestly, just look at the photos and read the reviews. It's easy to tell that some of the stuff is garbage, but I've had decent luck with other stuff from there.

    I've bought stuff from my LBS or US websites that fell apart too.

    It's true that pretty much anything can go bust, even from great retailers, but when you're dealing with a store like REI, which has high prices but AWESOME cust service, it's as close to a guarantee as you can get.

    I've returned malfunctioning headlamps to them over a year later for a full refund no questions asked. Don't like it? Bring it back, no problems, no hassle. Got a gift card to REI that you don't have enough stuff to use on? Get cash at the register no problemo.

    If REI carried Magicshine for $150, I'd definitely buy it from there vs $85 on DX. ($400+ for Lupine is pushing it, though!)
    =======================================
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  18. #43
    Senior Member socalrider's Avatar
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    +1 on REI, have had a couple of clothing items go south on me and took them back and was able to get replaced or store credit..

  19. #44
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by agarose2000 View Post
    If REI carried Magicshine for $150, I'd definitely buy it from there vs $85 on DX. ($400+ for Lupine is pushing it, though!)
    Yeah, but they don't, and you can get it from Geoman for $85, and they have good CS too. And MagicShine's quality is pretty good, actually.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  20. #45
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
    I agree that most of the blinkies on the DX site look like cheap crap. However, the one that I got which looks very close to the Superflash is also about the same build quality as the Superflash - in other words, not stellar but should last a few years, and it's < $4 shipped.

    IMO it's not all that durable, but it's pretty much equivalent to the actual Planet Bike Superflash, which also has issues but will probably last a few years.

    I do agree with you though that it's not worth buying junk, but that just means that there's stuff on DX that I would not buy, other that I would. Honestly, just look at the photos and read the reviews. It's easy to tell that some of the stuff is garbage, but I've had decent luck with other stuff from there.

    I've bought stuff from my LBS or US websites that fell apart too.
    Don't read the reviews on DX as they are picked and chosen only to only reflect well on the product. Occasionally as bad review does slip past the censers though. The threads at the bottom of the page will give you a much better idea of what people actually think of the product.

    That being said, I personally buy my lights from US based retailers (I'm in Europe) such as ShiningBeam, SB Lights (Solarforce), or Nailbender (Excellent custom drop-ins that are priced very well).

    I've found that these retailers sell quality goods that stand-up to real world use, and sell them at a very competitive price. They also ship quickly, and have excellent customer service, both which DX lack.

    To me it's worth an extra few dollars to get quality the first time and not have to wait months, and then monkey around with faulty products.


    P.S. For rear lights I simply order what I want from an online shop. They really aren't that expensive.

  21. #46
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    For the cheapskates in the house willing to take a gamble, here's a MagicShine for $34.50 shipped from within the US from an ebayer with good feedback. . I've got no idea what the catch is......

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...=STRK:MEWAX:IT

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziemas View Post
    For the cheapskates in the house willing to take a gamble, here's a MagicShine for $34.50 shipped from within the US from an ebayer with good feedback. . I've got no idea what the catch is......

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...=STRK:MEWAX:IT


    that's me, I ordered one since I just had to find out. Many here(including me) have spent alot more on items that went bust on them so i figured what the heck.

  23. #48
    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    Wow- that EBAY deal is too god to be true. That light costs nearly $10 bucks to make - the battery another $10 the packaging and customs another $3-6 -something can't be right.

    But - its my belief that the "three mode" models are actually defective "five-mode" models....... so yeah WTF...

  24. #49
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dodgensince74 View Post
    that's me, I ordered one since I just had to find out. Many here(including me) have spent alot more on items that went bust on them so i figured what the heck.
    would you post a review when you get it? Seems too good to be true. Back stock of an older unimproved model maybe?

  25. #50
    Senior Member FlatSix911's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziemas View Post
    For the cheapskates in the house willing to take a gamble, here's a MagicShine for $34.50 shipped from within the US from an ebayer with good feedback.

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...=STRK:MEWAX:IT
    The MagicShine is a good deal at the listed price of $29.99
    However, I made a best offer of $21.00 and got a Great deal!
    Try it for yourself ... I have no affliation with the seller on Ebay ...


    Last edited by FlatSix911; 09-19-10 at 06:16 PM.
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